Tactical Gardens

Zephyr Frank: Tactical Gardens

Food Insecurity in the Global South: Experiments in Computer Vision
February 26, 2020 - 12:00pm

College Hall 209

Zephyr Frank (Professor of History, Director of Program on Urban Studies, Founding Director of Center for Spatial and Textual Analysis, Stanford University)


Supplemental and informal food production in urban environments resists easy observation. Such plantings tend to be small in scale, located in unexpected or partially hidden spaces, and difficult to observe with any degree of precision using traditional remote sensing methods. Yet these small plots of corn, beans, tubers, and other staples help support poor families in difficult urban circumstances—making them an important component in any analysis of the food vulnerability and adaptive informal resilience of poor communities. This talk presents preliminary results from a set of three interconnected experiments with street-level imagery classified by machine learning and basic image classification software.